May 16, 2024, on Planet 93.9 with Dave and Darren — “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes”

Mike Schulz has only one full-fledged film to discuss with Dave Levora and Darren Pitra: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Wes Fall and starring Freya Allan, Kevin Durand, Peter Macon, and William H Macy. Compared to the bravura direction of Matt Reeves (2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes), Fall’s is workmanlike — that is to say, competently executed. Competence, particularly in this era, isn’t anything to disesteem outright. Nonetheless, one returns to the words of the Twentieth Century dramatic critic John Mason Brown: “The more one has seen of the good, the more one asks for the better.” If you can tell a story well, then good on ya; but if you can make that story stick in peoples’ heads for decades to come. . .

Aside from some chat concerning the forthcoming entry to the Lord of the Rings, with Andy Serkis directing in place of Peter Jackson, as well as the Mad Max prequel opening this weekend, the bulk of the broadcast is given over to previews (below) and TV shows.

  • IF, directed by John Krasinski and starring Cailey Fleming, Ryan Reynolds, Fiona Shaw, Alan Kim, and Liza Colón-Zayas, and featuring the voices of Krasinski, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr, and Steve Carell. That’s a deep bench you’ve got there, JK.
  • Back to Black, the Amy Winehouse biopic directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and starring Marisa Abela, Jack O’Connell, Eddie Marsan, and Lesley Manville. Like the Bob Marley biopic, the Winehouse story confines itself to the making of her breakthrough album, 2006’s Back to Black. Initial reviews have not been kind.
  • The Strangers: Chapter 1, a three-part horror series, directed by Renny Harlin and starring Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez. There’s something dispiriting about being informed from the outset that this is just the first film, and you’ve got more to go. . .
  • Poolman, a 2023 mystery-comedy, directed by Chris Pine (in his directorial début) and starring Pine, Annette Bening, DeWanda Wise, Stephen Tobolowsky, Clancy Brown, John Ortiz, Ray Wise, Juliet Mills, Ariana DeBose, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Danny DeVito — quite the cast there, too!

As for shows, it’s Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime (in that order):

  • Under the Bridge, a true-crime drama developed by Quinn Shephard from the book of the same name by Rebecca Godfrey and starring Lily Gladstone, Vritika Gupta, Chloe Guidry, Javon Walton, Izzy G, Aiyana Goodfellow, Ezra Faroque Khan, Archie Panjabi, and Riley Keough.
  • Baby Reindeer, a darkly-comic British drama-thriller (a “driller”?), created by and starring Richard Gadd, based on his one-man play of the same name. The show also stars Jessica Gunning, Nava Mau, and Tom Goodman-Hill. Schulz doesn’t know how to approach this series critically — yet.
  • Fallout, a post-apocalyptic drama based on the role-playing video game franchise created by Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, and starring Ella Purnell, Aaron Moten, Kyle MacLachlan, Moisés Arias, Xelia Mendes-Jones, and Walton Goggins. There may be a case on behalf of a series like this that some series benefit more from weekly serialization rather than dumped on viewers in one fell.

Levora was all about Shogun, an FX series created by Rachel Kondo and Justin Marks, based on the 1975 novel by James Clavell, and starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Cosmo Jarvis, Anna Sawai, Tadanobu Asano, Takehiro Hira, Tommy Bastow, and Fumi Nikaido. When it came to absorbing Fallout, however, he feels to be at sea.

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes”